Andy Murray has lost his first match at the US Open after a tough opening day. The world number one was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets, while Dan Evans and Heather Watson also fell to defeat on Wednesday.
Murray, who is currently ranked 112 in the world, was attempting to become the lowest-ranked player in US Open history to defeat a top-three opponent.
|Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York Dates: August 30th through September 12th|
|Daily audio commentary on the Radio 5 Live Sports Extra/ Sport website and app, as well as selected live written comments and match recaps on the website and app.|
Andy Murray put arguably his best performance in four injury-plagued years, but came just short of defeating Greek world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thrilling first round of the US Open.
The former world number one from the United Kingdom performed in a way reminiscent of his best, winning two sets to one.
Tsitsipas, on the other hand, came back to win 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in New York.
Dan Evans, the British men’s number one, has advanced, while Heather Watson and Harriet Dart have been eliminated when Johanna Konta withdrew.
Murray, as has been the case in the past, was the British player who drew the most attention on the first day of the last Grand Slam of the 2021 season, despite losing.
The Scot, who is now ranked 112th in the world, was hoping for his greatest ranking victory since his career was interrupted by a severe hip injury that forced him to quit.
Murray, 34, moved easily and wounded Tsitsipas with his brilliance from all over the court, fired up throughout and enjoying the importance of the event.
A seismic shock awaited Tsitsipas, who was one of the favorites for the men’s singles championship, but the 23-year-old kept his cool and won in four hours and 49 minutes.
“Turning the match around was not simple; I had to make a lot of sacrifices,” Tsitsipas remarked.
Murray shared a harsh handshake with his opponent after being annoyed by the Greek’s eight-minute toilet break before the final set, before loudly chuntering “it’s a joke” as he collected his things.
Even the loud and loving welcome that greeted the 2012 winner off the court couldn’t conceal his displeasure.
Evans made it through in ‘brutal’ New York weather.
Dan Evans has made it to the third round of the US Open three times before, but has never advanced farther.
Evans, seeded 24th, looked to be struggling physically before defeating Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-1.
The 31-year-old was the first British player on court and made a strong start to the country’s singles campaign.
Evans, who had missed the Olympics due to Covid-19, had lost four of his five matches since Wimbledon and seemed to be fading physically when Monteiro leveled the match at one set all.
Evans required ice packs during the second set, and after winning the third set, he received treatment for his foot.
Tim Henman, a former British number one who now works as a television pundit at Flushing Meadows, characterized playing in the heat and humidity as “terrible.”
Evans, on the other hand, dug deep physically and stormed to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set before winning.
In the second round, the Briton will face American world number 64 Marcos Giron.
Watson and Dart leave the house.
Watson, 29, was defeated 6-1 6-4 by Kaja Juvan of Slovenia, while qualifier Dart was defeated 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2 by Caroline Garcia of France.
Following Johanna Konta’s withdrawal, Watson was poised to become Britain’s top-ranked women’s player, but she has already lost all ten of her first-round matches in New York.
Dart, 25, performed well in the first set but was down a break in the second when she had to leave the court for further treatment for what looked to be a left leg injury.
She was unable to recover the upper hand against former world number four Garcia after a lengthy delay, and so lost out on a spot in the second round for the first time in her career.
Six British players were set to compete on the first day of the last major of the 2021 season on Monday.
With a thigh injury, Konta was forced to withdraw from her first-round match against France’s Kristina Mladenovic.